What does the best real estate marketing copy look like?

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting


No, I don't mean it isn't there at all. I mean that the reader isn't aware of individual words or sentences, but instead absorbs the message that they were written to convey.

That need for invisibility is one of the reasons why it's so important to proofread for typos, misused words, and misspellings. They're like big stop signs – or at least speed bumps – in the copy. They interrupt the flow by forcing the reader to stop and focus on the words themselves. Then the magic of the message is gone.

Of course, that's only one reason to avoid using copy filled with typos and misused or misspelled words. The other reason is that errors show a lack of attention to detail – and that's not a trait most people want in their real estate agent.  Pend Oreille River, Priest River Idaho

Invisibility is also the reason why copywriters strive to keep the language at about a 7th grade reading level and to avoid industry jargon. We don't ever want to cause a reader to stop and think "What does that word mean?" 

Think of it like the picture window through which you can gaze on a breathtaking view... you don't "see" the window unless it's cracked or dirty. If it's clean and doing it's job, all you're aware of is that view.

Comments (27)

Christina Sanchez Hood
Palo Alto, CA
#SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living

Marte, I agree with Sharon (#7) about the analogy.  Thank goodness for spellcheck, proofreaders and the many supporters here at Activerain to help us learn as we go :)

Nov 04, 2012 11:59 AM
Lloyd Binen
Certified Realty Services - Saratoga, CA
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976; 408-373-4411

Marte, once again your post makes a lot of sense to me.   

Nov 04, 2012 12:43 PM
Cyndi Carver
The Carver Home Team - Covington, WA
Newcastle & East Renton Specialist

Well stated, Marte. That is so true.

Nov 04, 2012 02:51 PM
Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Good morning Marte - Great post, and not at all what I expected, so even better :) Your window analogy is one I'm going to try to keep in my mind today as I write copy.

Nov 04, 2012 07:23 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Great analogy, Marte and yes, things should just flow...almost as if someone was talking to you.

Nov 04, 2012 07:23 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Great analogy. I love the post.

Nov 04, 2012 07:59 PM
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Good analogy Marte.  I've been guilty of not proofreading enough.  :)                                                                                   

Nov 04, 2012 09:00 PM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Marte, you window analogy is a good one. The first impression is always a lasting one.

Nov 04, 2012 09:37 PM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

A good lesson for us all. . the power of words can be dangerous if applied improperly. .

Nov 04, 2012 09:57 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I have an editor that catches my "in a hurry word"s and cleans it all up....Prior to that, one way to proof read was reading backwards one word at a time....whoa

Nov 04, 2012 10:02 PM
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease


Like the concept that it should flow and be "invisible".  Keeping spelling & grammar errors out is just the basics.  Good copy is a tougher talent that it sounds.  I flight the challenge of being too wordy, not netting it out.

All the best, Michelle

Nov 04, 2012 10:50 PM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate Services

Marte, I like …”all you're aware of is that view.”  I would add to avoid clutter … to many photos and too much copy makes it difficult to see the view.

Nov 04, 2012 11:15 PM
Sean Callahan
San Diego Business Resources - San Diego, CA
USA homes, communities and businesses

Great article!

When you focus on writing good content and not about search engines
and SEO you actually get the BEST content you can have and you
NEVER have to worry about Google Algorithm changes.

Good content wrote with enthusiasm and passion makes for the
best reading and content and search engines happen to like it too!

The best content is pulling market data and letting people educate themselves
because it always does well ranking in search engines and you always
have something to post each month.

Writing about what makes your community and area of selling special
is good and it does not all have to be real estate related. Talking about
schools, things to do and upcoming events makes the site more informative.

I normally build a community blog site next to the main website and link
the two together - www.lajaollablogs.com www.pacificbeachblogs.com etc..

You can get free blogs from Google / Blogger and Wordpress that work well
and help your main site rank well too!

Thanks for the post!


Nov 04, 2012 11:44 PM
Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hi Marte,

The point you make about attention to detail and how typos tie rang a chord with me.  Great post.  Thanks and best of success to you for a strong finish this year!

Nov 05, 2012 12:50 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kathy - Proofreading your own material is difficult - that's why some writers hire someone else to do it for them.

Van - Yes, thank goodness we can - easy on a web page. Proofreading becomes even more important when writing for print.

Sharon - Thanks. That's the idea.

Christina - Spell check is wonderful - as long as you know when it's wrong.

Thanks Lloyd - I try to make sense -If not the first time, in the proofreading and revisions.

Wayne and Jean - Now I'm curious - wondering what you expected.

Debbie - Yes, and as if you anticipated their comments and questions.

Fernando - That's true too.

Richie - Reading backward is one of the methods the gurus teach - boring, but effective.

Michelle - I have to fight that one too - and I think most people who like to write have the same problem. It's an ongoing exercise in learning to cut and slash and condense.

Kathleen - Good addition! Thanks.

Sean - Sounds like you have a good plan.



Nov 05, 2012 12:50 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Jordon - Thanks. Best success to you as well! We have almost 2 more months to create that strong finish - and a strong beginning for 2013.

Nov 05, 2012 01:31 AM
Charlie Dresen
The Group, Inc - Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat Springs, CO e-Pro

You make some excellent points here.  Properly editing your copy is the so important!  If necessary, bring a second set of eyes to the project. 

Nov 05, 2012 01:35 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Charlie - That second set of eyes can save the day. Something else that can work is to write your material, then leave it alone for a couple of days. I found a silly error in some client copy yesterday when I reviewed it "one last time" before sending it to her. I'd read and re-read that page a dozen times, but didn't see that there was a word missing until I came back with fresh eyes.

Nov 05, 2012 01:42 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your thoughts. If the old principle KISS hasn't already been mentioned it is now! Thanks again!

Nov 05, 2012 03:52 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Paul - That old KISS rule never goes out of style.

Nov 05, 2012 04:05 AM